Johnson to Congress: Get 'smart'

Congressional appropriators cutting funds for e-government initiatives in spending bills will not hamper the initiatives, said Clay Johnson, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget.

"We just collect money from the agencies — pass the hat, if you will — and fund it out of their individual agency [information technology] budgets," he told reporters during a press conference last week.

However, OMB's relationship with Congress on e-government and other initiatives on the President's Management Agenda could be improved, Johnson said. "We need to have them be smarter about how to make appropriations

decisions."

Johnson stressed the Bush administration's attempt to foster a results-oriented federal government. "We're here to spend money to get results. I defy anybody in Congress to say otherwise."

Members of Congress, however, do not agree. "To date, a lot of funding has been dedicated to these initiatives without a well-thought-out and reasonable approach to addressing requirements," according to the bill, which the House passed June 17.

The House Interior Department appropriations bill includes language blocking funds for four of the 24 e-government initiatives: Safecom, Disaster Management, E-Training and

E-Rulemaking.

Similar language was included in the House Agriculture Department's appropriations bill, which passed July 17.

"There's still a lot of work to be done explaining the value of e-gov on the Hill," said Bruce McConnell, former OMB chief of information policy and technology and now president of McConnell International LLC. "Clearly, [OMB officials] haven't been talking to the right people."

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1996, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

  • Shutterstock image.

    Merged IT modernization bill punts on funding

    A House panel approved a new IT modernization bill that appears poised to pass, but key funding questions are left for appropriators.

  • General Frost

    Army wants cyber capability everywhere

    The Army's cyber director said cyber, electronic warfare and information operations must be integrated into warfighters' doctrine and training.

  • Rising Star 2013

    Meet the 2016 Rising Stars

    FCW honors 30 early-career leaders in federal IT.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group